Juicy Instant Pot Chicken Breast from fresh or frozen. 25 minutes from start to finish, simple ingredients and no saute. Cooking chicken breast in the Instant Pot is an essential recipe that is perfect for beginners and novices alike.
This pressure cooker chicken breast is my go-to on a busy weeknight or a weekend (who am I kidding?!). Often it becomes Instant Pot shredded chicken making it perfect for salad, tacos and stir fries. Just like Instant Pot whole chicken is any mom’s best friend.
Table of contents
- Why This Recipe Works?
- Ingredients You Will Need
- Can I Cook Breasts with Bones?
- How to Cook Fresh Chicken Breast in Instant Pot
- How to Cook Frozen Chicken Breast in Instant Pot
- What Size of Instant Pot Can I Use?
- Serving Recommendations
- More FAQs
- Making This Recipe in Advance
- More Instant Pot Chicken Breast Recipes
Why This Recipe Works?
This Instant Pot chicken breast recipe is easy, simple and forgiving.
Don’t you always have a pack of chicken breasts in your freezer?! Now you can make chicken breast in Instant Pot from fresh or frozen in 30 minutes.
I have been making slow cooker chicken breast for years. It’s a great recipe, the only downside is that you have to remove cooked chicken from the crock pot right away to avoid it being dry. And sometimes, I am just not home.
So, this pressure cooker version solves the problem. Chicken breast is done in 25 minutes or so. I just love Instant Pot!
It makes the best Instant Pot rice and beans with no soaking, Instant Pot lasagna with no need for a springform pan, the most tender Instant Pot beef stew with no need to saute, and crazy easy Instant Pot steamed vegetables!
Also this honey garlic chicken breast would be good pan fried, in case you don’t have an oven.
Ingredients You Will Need
You really need only chicken breasts and water. Everything else is up to your taste and what meal idea you are planning to use with your cooked chicken breast recipe.
If you are planning to eat cooked chicken breast alongside chicken quinoa bowl (meal prep style), I would pay attention to spices.
- Chicken breasts: You can use boneless skinless chicken breasts, fresh or frozen.
- Salt and pepper: Simple seasonings so your chicken is a ‘blank slate’ for recipes.
- Garlic powder: If you wish, but not required.
- Dried herbs: If you like, really it will depend on how you plan to use the chicken once it is ready.
Use one of these chicken marinades to really ramp up the flavor of the chicken breast.
Can I Cook Breasts with Bones?
Yes. You can cook bone-in and even with skin on chicken breasts, if you wish. Same amount of time.
How to Cook Fresh Chicken Breast in Instant Pot
Add 1 cup water and place trivet on top.
Lay chicken breasts in a single layer, sprinkle with spices and rub onto each other.
Press Pressure Cook on High or Manual for 10 minutes – under 2″ thickness, 15 minutes – over 2″ thick breasts.
Do Natural Release for 5 minutes and then turn pressure valve to Venting.
How to Cook Frozen Chicken Breast in Instant Pot
Cook frozen chicken breasts just like fresh but cook time is 15 minutes.
And make sure each breast is separated. If you add a blob of frozen chicken breasts, you will end up with raw meat inside and overcooked chicken outside.
Check out my Instant Pot frozen chicken breast recipe for detailed info.
When you bring fresh chicken from the store, line each breast with small piece of parchment paper before adding to a bag and freezing. Thaw for 5 minutes or run under cold water for easy parchment paper removal.
What Size of Instant Pot Can I Use?
Same recipe. Same cooking time. Same water amount.
Just make sure chicken breasts fit in a single layer. If your Instant Pot is small and you want to cook large amount of breasts, do so in a few batches. Piling up chicken in a few layers will result in undercooked chicken.
Also note that larger pressure cooker (like mine, 8 quart) takes longer to come to pressure. About 8-10 minutes.
There are so many ways to answer the question on what to do with cooked chicken breast! Here are a few ways to turn it into a meal:
- Shredded: Shred meat with 2 forks, refrigerate and use to make chicken salad or healthy white chicken chili. Or skip sauteing and use instead of ground turkey to make pasta bake.
- Diced: Cube to add protein to pasta, vegetable soup or borscht. Why not?!
- Low carb meal: Make one of these healthy zucchini recipes to have with chicken for a complete meal.
- Meal prep: Refrigerate whole or cubed and use throughout the week for lunches. Sub out your sandwich deli meat for chicken or use in healthy cobb salad or healthy Caesar salad.
- Freeze for later. When ready to eat, thaw on the counter for a few hours or in the fridge overnight.
I just had to comment. Many recipes online ask you to saute chicken breast before pressure cooking in an effort “to lock in most of juices”. I can assure you I have cooked chicken breast in Instant Pot over 20 times and it comes out juicy if you follow my recipe.
Yes, you can. You can cook as many or as little instapot chicken breasts as you need, as long as they fit into a single layer. Same cooking time.
Because the Instant Pot steam provides a moist environment for your chicken breast, this is difficult to do. If you are worried, be sure to measure your chicken breast’s thickness at its widest point so you know exactly how long to cook chicken breast in Instant Pot.
Making This Recipe in Advance
Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container or resealable freezer bags for up to 3 months. Thaw in fridge or on a counter.
More Instant Pot Chicken Breast Recipes
- Instant Pot chicken and rice that we make every month!
- Instant Pot chicken and potatoes everyone will love, trust me!
- Instant Pot white chicken chili is creamy and made healthier.
- Instant Pot frozen whole chicken – rotisserie style whole chicken.
- 10 healthy freezer meals you can cook from frozen in your pressure cooker.
- And check out over 45 other healthy Instant Pot recipes.
Instant Pot Chicken Breast
- Lay chicken breasts in a single layer (if using frozen make sure they are separated) and sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly with tongs or hands.
- Close the lid and set pressure vent to Sealing. Press Pressure Cook on High or Manual for 10 minutes (under 2" thickness) for fresh, or 15 minutes (over 2" thick) for fresh and frozen chicken breasts (any size).
- Display will say ON, Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure, you will see a bit of steam coming out from a valve, then float valve will rise and countdown will begin.
- After 10-15 minutes your chicken is ready, Instant Pot will beep and display will say OFF. Wait 5 minutes and do Quick Release by turning sealing valve to Venting position.
- Open the lid and your chicken breasts are ready for meal prep, casseroles, salads etc. Shred or cube, and save the stock at the bottom for soup.
- Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container or resealable freezer bags for up to 3 months. Thaw in a fridge or on a counter.
- *If using frozen chicken breasts make sure they are separated. Think about it before freezing a whole tray, separate them with parchment paper.
- Feel free to use chicken broth instead of water.